ETF News

Northern Trust hires Baring back-office specialist

* Northern Trust hires back-office veteran * Joins from Baring Asset Management * Banks sees demand for outsourcingservices

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. bank Northern Trust Corp NTRS.O has hired one of London's most experienced operations professionals at a time of increasing focus by trading firms on their post-trade costs.

Northern Trust, which supplies custody and outsourcing services to pension funds, has recruited Terri van Praagh as head of market operations in its global fund services business, according to a spokeswoman.

In her new role, Van Praagh reports to John Hannon, who is in charge of investment operations outsourcing.

Van Praagh (formerly Humphreys) joined Northern Trust from Baring Asset Management, where she was director, head of market activities for 12 years.

Prior to Baring Asset Management, van Praagh was a trade support manager at Lehman Brothers for eight years and worked in foreign exchange at Standard Chartered STAN.L for five years.

In her time at Baring, van Praagh also served as European chairwoman of the influential International Securities Association for Institutional Trade Communication (ISITC), which works to standardise middle and back office processes across the industry.

Her appointment comes as banks and fund managers seek to drive down the cost of processing trades, aiming to maximise profitability.

Middle and back office cost-efficiency tends to be overlooked in strong markets, but the relatively slow trading activity over the past year has forced some asset managers to focus on the back office, prompting Northern Trust to boost its outsourcing services.

Custody banks offer their buy-side clients the opportunity to outsource their back office processes, a move the banks argue drives down costs. (Editing by David Holmes)